eBay
  • Daily Deals
  • Gift Cards
  • Sell
  • Help & Contact
  Home > Help >Bidding & buying>Buying basics>Returning an item through the managed returns process
Help
Search the help pages 
(Does not search for items or products)
 SearchTips
Returning an item
In this article
In this article


You can return some items you purchased on eBay, depending on the seller's return policy. If you used same day delivery or free in-store pickup when you purchased your item and the seller accepts returns, return the item directly to the store where you purchased it.

Here's what to expect when you need to return an item.

Return an item

Before you request a return, check the seller's return policy in the listing for the seller's return period and other information.

Some sellers are enrolled in eBay hassle-free returns, our automated return process. Other sellers have their own process for handling returns. Depending on the item and the seller, you may have different return options.

To return an item for a refund or replacement:
  1. Find the item in My eBay and select Return this item from the More actions drop-down menu.

  2. Select the reason for the return. Depending on the seller's return preferences, we may put you in touch with the seller directly.

  3. If the seller uses eBay hassle-free returns or chooses to use an eBay-generated shipping label, we provide you with a return shipping label and packing slip. If a shipping label isn't available for the item, we ask you to contact the seller about alternative shipping arrangements. The seller may also provide you their own shipping label.

  4. Pack the item carefully. Include the packing slip, apply the shipping label, and send the item back to the seller. You must return the item within 5 business days of requesting the return. It's a good practice to include tracking information when returning an item.

  5. If an eBay-generated shipping label is used, you can track the status of the returned item in the Purchase history section of My eBay. Find the returned item and click View return details from the More actions drop-down menu.

  6. The seller refunds you within 6 business days of receiving the returned item. If you're requesting a replacement item and the seller uses hassle-free returns, the seller ships it to you within 5 business days of the date you request a return.

Item eligibility for eBay hassle-free returns

If the seller uses eBay hassle-free returns, we automatically guide you to use this process to return an item if:

  • The seller listed the item on eBay.com

  • You want a full refund or replacement item, not a partial refund or exchange.

  • You paid for the item with PayPal

  • Both the seller's return address and your address are in the US.

  • The seller listed the item in a category covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

  • You haven't already asked us to step in and help with the transaction under the eBay Money Back Guarantee, opened a PayPal Purchase Protection case, or requested a chargeback on the credit card associated with your PayPal account.

  • We haven't suspended you from using eBay hassle-free returns

Things to keep in mind:

  • Request a return by the time specified in the Return policy section of the listing.

  • If we ask you to contact the seller, work with the seller directly and follow their return instructions.

  • Otherwise, you're issued a return shipping label and packing slip. Then:

    • Ship the item back to the seller within 5 business days of requesting the return when returning an item for a refund.

    • Ship the item back to the seller within 5 business days of requesting the return when returning an item for a replacement. If you haven't sent the item back after 30 days, you're charged for the second item.

  • Return the item in the same condition as you received it. See the item condition policy for returns for more information.

  • If you're returning an item because it didn't match the listing description, the eBay Money Back Guarantee may be able to help. Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Returning an item if the seller doesn't use eBay hassle-free returns

If the seller doesn't use eBay hassle-free returns, you can still start a return request in My eBay.

After you submit a return request, the seller works with you to make sure the item is returned safely.

Return shipping charges

Either you or the seller is responsible for return shipping charges, depending on the seller's return policy and the reason for the return. In most cases, sellers require that buyers pay for return shipping, but some sellers offer free return shipping—check the Return policy section of the listing. If you're returning an item because it isn't as described in the listing, the seller is responsible for return shipping charges, regardless of the seller's return policy. 

When you're responsible for return shipping charges, we charge your PayPal account if you ship the item using our shipping label. We may ask you to accept a billing agreement to authorize payment for these kinds of charges. 

When you want to return an item using alternative shipping arrangements, and the seller is responsible for the return shipping charges, you must work with the seller to agree on the shipping service and cost before returning the item.

Return shipping charges when using eBay shipping labels

When an eBay shipping label is used, returns are shipped using USPS Parcel Select, First-Class, or Priority Mail—whichever is the most appropriate for the cost, package weight, and delivery time. In some instances, return shipping charges may not be based on the actual weight of the package, but an estimate.

Return shipping charges are based on rates eBay negotiated with USPS. These charges may differ from actual rates to ship an item and are subject to change.

Package weight

Shipping service

Shipping charges

5 ounces or under

USPS First-Class Mail

$2.50

Over 5 ounces, up to 13 ounces

USPS First-Class Mail

$3.00

Over 13 ounces, up to 1 pound

USPS First-Class Mail

$4.50

Over 1 pound, up to 5 pounds

USPS Priority Mail

$7.75

Over 5 pounds, up to 10 pounds

USPS Priority Mail

$13.00

Over 10 pounds, up to 20 pounds

USPS Priority Mail

$25.00

Over 20 pounds, up to 30 pounds

USPS Priority Mail

$30.00

Over 30 pounds, up to 40 pounds

USPS Priority Mail

$40.00

Over 40 pounds, up to 55 pounds

USPS Priority Mail

$50.00

Over 55 pounds, up to 70 pounds

USPS Parcel Select

$65.00

Unknown weight

USPS Priority Mail

$13.00

Refunds

Most refunds are automatically adjusted for any applicable restocking fees or shipping charges.

When the item isn't as described: 

If you return an item because it's not as described in the listing, arrives damaged, or is missing parts, then your refund is:

Total purchase price plus original shipping equals total refund

In these situations, the seller can't charge a restocking fee and the seller pays the return shipping charges.

All other returns:

If you return an item for any other reason, including changing your mind about a purchase, the seller can keep any restocking fee specified in the listing Return policy.

In these situations, your original shipping charge usually isn't refunded. Check the listing Return policy for specifics on shipping charges. You may also have to pay the return shipping charges.

For this type of return, your refund is usually the total purchase price, including item cost, sales tax, and other charges, less:

  • Original shipping (unless specified otherwise in the listing Return policy)

  • Restocking fee (if specified in the listing Return policy)

  • Return shipping (if specified in the listing Return policy)

When to ask us to step in and help

Most returns and refunds go smoothly, but if a seller doesn't issue you a refund, you can ask us to step in and help. Depending on the seller's return method, timelines may differ. We guide you to the correct timing as part of your return request in My eBay, but for reference:

  • You can ask us to step in and help if the seller doesn't issue a refund within 6 business days of receiving the returned item, or within 6 business days of the estimated delivery date for the returned item if no tracking is used. You have 10 business days to ask us to step in and help after the seller's time to issue a refund has passed.

  • If a seller isn't using eBay hassle-free returns, you can ask us to step in and help 3 business days after you request a return, if the seller doesn't respond to your return request.

If you use alternative shipping arrangements, return shipping charges won't be included in any eBay Money Back Guarantee refunds, even if the seller agreed to pay return shipping charges. Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Replacements

Some sellers may offer you the option of returning an item for a replacement instead of a refund. A replacement is an item that is exactly the same as the original item was described in the listing.

You can request a replacement if:

  • The seller offers replacements in the listing Return policy.

  • The item arrives and isn't as described in the listing, such as with a damaged part, or the item is defective in some way.

  • You're returning the original item and want the exact same item as it was described in the listing as a replacement.

  • If the seller is using eBay hassle-free returns, the total refund value of the original item is less than $250.00.

Things to keep in mind when requesting a replacement:

  • If you're requesting a replacement because the item wasn't as described in the listing, such as with a damaged part, the seller is responsible for the return shipping charges. See Return shipping charges.

  • If you're unable to return the item because it's unsafe to ship (such as a ruptured and leaking battery) or broken beyond repair, the eBay Money Back Guarantee can help. Learn more about getting started with the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

  • If the seller is using eBay hassle-free returns:

    • The seller ships the replacement to you within 5 business days of when you request the return in My eBay. You can track the progress of your replacement item in the Purchase history section of My eBay. Find the returned item and click View return details from the More actions drop-down menu.

    • Ship the item back to the seller within 5 business days of requesting the return.

    • If you don't ship the original back to the seller within 30 days, you're charged for the replacement item.

    • If you send the original item back to the seller, and the seller doesn't send a replacement, we treat the return as a refund.

When to ask us to step in and help with the eBay Money Back Guarantee

  • If you didn't receive a replacement, or you received your replacement but still aren't satisfied, you have 14 days from either the day the replacement was delivered to you, or the day the original was returned to the seller– whichever is latest–to ask us to step in and help.

  • If you use alternative shipping arrangements, return shipping charges aren't included in any eBay Money Back Guarantee refunds, even if the seller agreed to pay return shipping charges.

Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Exchanges

Some sellers may offer you the option of exchanging an item.

For exchanges—for a different size or color, for example—we ask that you contact the seller directly before starting a return. You can also contact the seller from My eBay.

Alternative return shipping arrangements

You may need to use alternative shipping arrangements when:   

Insurance isn't available for return shipments. If either you or the seller prefers that an item be returned with insurance, purchase your own return postage instead of using the return shipping label provided.
We allow one return package for each return. If you need multiple packages to ship a return, you need to make alternate shipping arrangements for the remaining packages.
An eBay return shipping label is only available for items within the USPS size and weight guidelines for the shipping service that's used.
If the package is outside of USPS guidelines, you need to make alternative shipping arrangements.
An eBay return shipping label isn't available if the expected shipping charges exceed the expected refund or the refund value of a replacement.
Contact the seller to agree on alternative shipping arrangements or, in the case of local pickup, a way of getting the item back to seller safely.

When the seller is responsible for return shipping charges and you need to make alternative shipping arrangements, contact the seller to agree on the service and cost before sending the item. Make sure that you include the packing slip, tracking, and for items valued at $750 or more, delivery confirmation.

When using alternative shipping arrangements, either you or the seller pays for return shipping charges.

Frequently asked questions

If you've missed the deadline to start a return, you can contact the seller to see if the seller is willing to accept a late return. Use Messages in My eBay when contacting the seller to keep a record of your conversation.
We ask that you ship back the item to the seller within 5 business days. If 6 business days have passed since you started a return for a refund, and you haven't sent the item yet, contact the seller to see if they're still willing to accept your return. Use Messages in My eBay when contacting the seller to keep a record of your conversation.
If the seller is using eBay hassle-free returns, you can see the status of your return request in My eBay—we show you tracking details for the return package, let you know when the item has been delivered to the seller, and when you can expect your refund. If it's been 6 business days since the returned item was delivered to the seller and the seller hasn't refunded you, you can ask us to step in and help.
Important: If you shipped the item later than the seller's stated time frame, we don't require the seller to issue a refund.
If the seller is using eBay hassle-free returns:
  • You can see the status of both your return and the replacement item in My eBay. We show you tracking details for both the returned item and the seller's replacement, and let you know when the item has been delivered to the seller and when the seller has shipped the replacement. If 5 business days have passed since you started the return and the seller hasn't shipped the replacement item to you, we treat the return as a refund.

Sellers can deduct a restocking fee for returned items. Sellers state any restocking fees in the Return policy section of the listing.
We typically allow a little extra time for delivery. After sufficient time has passed, and the seller still hasn't received your returned item, you can ask us to step in and help.
In most cases, sellers handle returns quickly and easily. However, you may want to ask us to step in and help with the eBay Money Back Guarantee in a few instances:
  • You're unable to return the item because it's unsafe to ship (such as a ruptured and leaking battery) or broken beyond repair.

  • You've already returned the item, but you and the seller aren't able to resolve a problem.

  • You've received a replacement, but you and the seller still aren't able to resolve a problem.

If the seller is using eBay hassle-free returns, you have one opportunity to return an item or multiple items for each transaction, depending on the listing:
  • Lots, sets, and bundled items

    You have one opportunity to return the entire quantity of the sale. For example, you buy a 5-piece place setting of dinner ware, which includes a teacup, saucer, dinner plate, salad plate, and a bread plate.

    You have one opportunity to return the entire 5-piece place setting. You can't return a few pieces of the place setting, for instance, just the teacup and saucer. (To return one item of a set, contact the seller.)

  • Multi-quantity listings

    You have one opportunity to return any quantity of purchased items. For example, you buy T-shirts, and in the listing you select a quantity of 5.

    You can return any quantity of the 5 T-shirts, but you only have one opportunity to return items. For instance, if you return 2 of the 5 T-shirts, you can't return the remaining 3 later.

  • Items from multiple listings from the same seller

    You have one opportunity to return each item individually. For example, you buy 3 books from a single seller. The seller listed each book  individually, but you paid for the books in a single step with eBay checkout.

    You need to return each book individually.

If the seller isn't using eBay hassle-free returns, contact the seller directly when you start your return request.
In some cases, before you can print the shipping label for your return, we may need to verify a few details with the seller. The label is printable within 2 business days.
When using an eBay shipping label, you can reprint a return shipping label, but you can only use one label. 
If a return requires multiple packages, work with the seller to make alternate shipping arrangements for either the remaining packages or for all of the packages.
Return the item directly to the store you purchased it from for a refund, according to the store's return policy. If you used eBay Now delivery, we don't refund your delivery fee. Learn more about delivery and pick-up options.
To ask us to step in and help with a return request:
  1. From the Purchase History section of My eBay, find the returned item

  2. Click View return details from the More actions drop-down menu

  3. Click Ask us to step in and help

    You have 10 business days to ask us to step in and help if 6 business days have passed and the seller still hasn't issued a refund.

Misuse of eBay hassle-free returns or the eBay Money Back Guarantee

If we determine that you've abused eBay hassle-free returns or the eBay Money Back Guarantee, you may be subject to a range of actions, including limits on buying and selling privileges and account suspension. Examples include:

  • Selecting an inaccurate reason for return.

  • Disregarding item conditions required for return.

Contact us

Have a question? We can help.

 Contact us

Ask eBay members

Get help from other eBay members. Visit the Answer Center to post a question.